Sunday, 18th October 6.00 pm Order of Service

WELCOME

HYMN  “Mighty To Save”

Everyone needs compassion

A love that’s never failing

Let mercy fall on me

Everyone needs forgiveness

The kindness of a Saviour

The hope of nations

[Chorus:]

Saviour, he can move the mountains

My God is mighty to save

He is mighty to save

Forever Author of Salvation

He rose and conquered the grave

Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as you find me

All my fears and failures

Fill my life again

I give my life to follow

Everything that I believe in

Now I surrender

[Chorus]

Shine your light and let the whole world see

We’re singing for the glory of the risen king Jesus [2x]

[Chorus x2]

Shine your light and let the whole world see

We’re singing for the glory of the risen king Jesus [6x]

PRAYER

READING – Matthew 12: 38-50

38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.

43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

SERMON – Who is God’s family?

If God can be considered to be a family God – WHOM does He consider to be in His family? We sing songs about the “family of man” and in a sense we are all the work of God’s hands. He made us and so we could be said to have Him as our creator and “Father”. BUT God has another family … a special family … those He loves and cares for, guides strengthens and comforts. Who are they?

Is it the Jews? They are the most likely racial candidates, indeed, the only race that has ever been chosen by God. Well, although God has not finished with His ancient people, Jesus had some amazingly sharp words for them. One of the main problems with so many of them was that they loved the outward show of religion and missed out on the heart.

A group of them (probably some of the religious leaders) approached Jesus and said (in a hypocritical tone) vs.38 “MASTER … we want to see a miraculous sign”. Typically the Jews wanted SIGNS. Yet we have just read of Jesus healing and blind & dumb demoniac – was not THAT a sign?

All 4 Gospels record the feeding of the 5000 – John’s comment (Jn 6:14) is “The people saw the miraculous sign.” Yet very soon after that incident, the same group of folks who had been fed demanded of Jesus (vs 30) “What miraculous sign, then, will you give that we may see it and believe you?

Were these people blind? Or stupid? Probably both! They looked for signs from heaven, but Jesus had come down from heaven – He WAS THE SIGN – but they totally failed to understand this.

How easily people are deceived by FALSE SIGNS – and Jesus didn’t want followers who were only interested in the extraordinary. The fact of the matter is that these men did NOT want a sign – on the contrary, they wanted Jesus to FAIL to provide one so that they could prove He was a fraud.

How many people have the same attitude today: “Let God come to earth as a man NOW”, they say, “THEN we will believe.

However, patently they are lying – their intentions are not honourable. Well, did Jesus bow to this pressure?

Not a bit of it. He told them there would be no sign except that of the Resurrection from the dead. Rom 1:4 (Jesus) “was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead.

And the Jews would have to wait for that great event. Even thereafter many of them remained hostile to Christ. Jesus warned them of what lay in store for some of them. Oh-so-proud of their calling by God – they would one day be judged by GENTILES. They couldn’t imagine anything worse.

Now, why were the Ninevites to be counted as members of God’s family? Because they repented. Why was the Queen of Sheba part of God’s family? Because she came to seek God’s wisdom. Israel is described as a people from whom and evil spirit has been cast out. That evil spirit was idolatry. After the exile they got rid of idols. BUT Jesus said they had failed to respond to God’s Holy Spirit. The result was that bad spirits had come upon them. If we don’t go FORWARD with God, we will slip AWAY from Him.

Jesus was brought up in a family with Mary and her sons and daughters – but Jesus makes it plain that this is not His real and eternal family. (vs 50) “Whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my family.” It is nothing to do with blood relations. Jesus actually had to rebuke His natural family on this occasion. It doesn’t matter who are your family, or what are their origins. (Billy Graham says: God has no grandchildren).

Going to Church, having a godly father, calling Jesus “Master”, ALL of that is trivial. What is vital is that you have entered a vital relationship with God. It starts with repentance and feeds daily on God’s Wisdom (the Bible) and submits to the will of God each step of each day.

GOD’S FAMILY … what a wonderful thing it is – to know that you are loved with a very special Father’s love. To know that Jesus is your brother – to confide in Him – trust Him absolutely. A family which extends throughout the earth and throughout the ages. God’s wonderful family. If you are in this family say THANK YOU to God – if NOT, what are you waiting for?

PRAYER

HYMN My Jesus, my Saviour (Shout to the Lord) Hillsong

My Jesus

My Saviour

Lord there is none like You

All of my days

I want to praise

The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort

My shelter

Tower of refuge and strength

Let every breath

All that I am

Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord

All the earth let us sing

Power and majesty

Praise to the King

Mountains bow down

And the seas will roar

At the sound of Your Name

I sing for joy

At the work of Your hands

Forever I’ll love You

Forever I’ll stand

Nothing compares to

The promise I have in You

Benediction

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